Eastward and upward

By the mid-1920s, Upton Machine Co. needed to expand east to support its partnership with Sears. In 1929, the company merged with the Nineteen Hundred Washer Company from Binghamton, New York, known for its distinctive wood basin washers. The newly formed corporation adopted the Nineteen Hundred moniker. Five months later, the stock market crashed on Black Tuesday.

During the Great Depression, sales dropped by more than 33 percent and manufacturing plants operated on a limited basis, running three to four days a week—or sometimes less. By the early 1940s, only 30 of the 100 washing machine manufacturers of the mid-1920s were still in existence.